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St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

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OFSTED

Key points from our latest Ofsted report:

 

St Gregory's has the following strengths

  • Many pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are now making better progress.
  • Children get off to a positive start in the Early Years. The quality of teaching is good. Children make good progress and are well prepared for Year 1.
  • Adults know pupils and their families extremely well. There is a warm and caring ethos throughout the school.
  • There are effective procedures in place to monitor pupils’ attendance. Rates of absence and persistent absence are currently below national averages.

 

Early years provision is Good

 

  • The majority of children enter the early years with knowledge and skills below those typical for their age. Over recent years, the proportions of children reaching a good level of development has been broadly in line with the national average. In 2018, the proportion was above the national average. Children make good progress from their various starting points.
  • Children make particularly strong progress in writing. For example, work in children’s books shows that those children who were mark making in September are now correctly writing individual letters and those who could already write their names can now correctly write a simple sentence.
  • The early years leader has an accurate understanding of the strengths and development areas in the provision. For example, the recent increase in practical resources to support children’s learning has contributed to them gaining an improved understanding of number.
  • Transition into the early years is well-planned. Children visit in the summer term to familiarise themselves with the staff, classrooms and routines. Parents also visit and complete ‘all about me’ booklets that inform staff of their child’s strengths and development areas. Children settle quickly because they know the school, and staff know the children well, before they start.
  • There are good links with outside agencies including the speech and language team, an educational psychologist and the school nurse. This ensures that any child who requires extra support, receives it promptly.
  • The quality of teaching is good. Staff provide a wide variety of interesting and stimulating activities that engage children and promote their independence. There are numerous opportunities, carefully designed, to promote children’s writing, number, physical and creative development.
  • Staff frequently use members of the community to help deepen children’s knowledge. For example, there is a link with a residential care home and visits to a farm and local shops. When learning about, ‘People who help us’ children were recently visited by the local police, fire service and a nurse.
  • The ‘Proud cloud’ and ‘our next steps’ displays help to inform adults and parents of children’s achievements. Staff can therefore plan carefully and accurately for children’s future learning.
  • Children behave well. Positive relationships exist between adults and children and between the children themselves. Children happily share resources and learn co-operatively. For example, a group of children were observed working happily together, practising writing individual letters, while sharing a large piece of paper.
  • Safeguarding is effective because staff have the same training and follow the same procedures as the rest of the school. An appropriate number of adults are trained in paediatric first aid.
  • Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the early years team. One typical comment received by inspectors was, ‘My son’s progress since September has been amazing!’

 

Personal development and welfare

  • The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is good.
  • Pupils are knowledgeable regarding keeping themselves safe when crossing roads or using the internet. They know not to share personal information when online and to tell an adult if they see something inappropriate.
  • Pupils understand how to keep themselves fit and healthy through taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Pupils attending the breakfast club benefit from a calm start to the day and a good selection of healthy foods to choose from.
  • There is appropriate parental information on the school’s website that provides links and advice to help support pupils’ mental health and well-being.
  • Pupils have a good understanding of equality and faiths and cultures different to their own. One pupil commented, ‘No matter who we are or where we come from, we are all a family together. We are all accepted.’ 
  • Pupils have a strong understanding of empathy and of helping others. Each class has a project where they show compassion towards someone in the local community.
  • Pupils relish the opportunities to take on extra responsibility. These include democratically elected school councillors, being house captains, librarians, corridor monitors and anti-bullying ambassadors.
  • Pupils are polite and look smart in the school’s uniform. Many pupils cheerily greeted inspectors and were keen to share what they were learning. Pupils show good manners and are respectful of visitors.

Safeguarding

  • There is an effective system in place for staff to report any welfare concerns they have about a pupil or family, to the designated leads for safeguarding. There are good links with outside agencies such as social care, the multi-agency safeguarding hub and the local police community support officer (PCSO). Referrals to agencies are made swiftly, ensuring pupils and families receive extra help when it is needed. The family support officer is tenacious in chasing up extra support, if it is not forthcoming.
  • There are strong procedures in place to monitor those pupils whose attendance is a concern. Consequently, current rates of absence and persistent absence are lower than the national averages.
  • Pupils’ behave well on the playground and during break times. They play together sensibly and chat sociably when eating their lunch.
  • Pupils have a good understanding of racism, bullying and the different forms it can take. They told inspectors that incidents of bullying are rare.

 

SEND

  • The new leader responsible for pupils with SEND has made a strong start in a short space of time. Effective systems are now in place to check on the progress pupils are making. Inspection evidence and information provided by the school shows that the majority of pupils with SEND are now making good progress.

 

Pupil Premium

  • The allocation and monitoring of the impact of the pupil premium funding for disadvantaged pupils is good. The leader has a clear overview of pupils’ individual barriers to learning and has accurately identified strategies to support their learning. The majority of disadvantaged pupils are currently making improving progress.

 

PE and Sport

  • The leader responsible for the PE (physical education) and sport funding has ensured that staff have received training, and pupils have increased their participation in numerous competitions with other schools. After-school clubs in, for example, gymnastics, football, and bench-ball have been successful in targeting and engaging pupils who previously had not taken part in physical activity.

 

Leadership

  • Leaders have a good overview of the current attainment and progress made by pupils in reading, writing and mathematics. This information is analysed closely and areas of weakness identified. Leaders are able to provide extra support to those classes and subjects that require it.
  • Leaders and the governing body are ambitious and set increasingly high standards for staff and pupils alike. Teachers and teaching assistants told inspectors they appreciate opportunities to develop professionally.
  • We are proud of the fact that the attainment of our children has increased over the past 2 years and is now in line with national averages for reading and writing and exceeding it in maths.
  • Teachers meet frequently with leaders to discuss the progress and attainment of pupils in reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils take standardised tests that help to confirm the accuracy of their assessments of pupils’ learning. Pupils who are falling behind are identified and given support to help them catch up.
  • Teachers provide pupils with frequent opportunities to improve spelling, punctuation and grammar skills. These skills are assessed in longer pieces of extended writing. For example, pupils in Year 6 were accurately using persuasive language when writing a letter to local councillors, regarding the potential closing of a local charity.
  • Leaders provide a safe and stimulating environment for pupils to learn and staff to work. Bright classrooms and displays of pupils’ work in the corridors help to celebrate the best work alongside support materials to help pupils with, for example, spellings and times tables.
  • The vast majority of parents are supportive of the school and its leaders. One parent commented that, ‘The headteacher and her competent management team are having a really positive effect on the school.’
  • The leadership of mathematics is strong. Teachers now ensure that pupils have more frequent opportunities to use practical resources and to explain their thinking through problem solving and reasoning activities. Standards in mathematics have risen over recent years.
  • The majority of pupils are now starting to make better progress in Reading, Writing and Maths.
  • In 2018, the proportion of pupils leaving key stage 2, who achieved the expected standards in reading, writing and mathematics was broadly in line with national averages. Pupils’ progress in mathematics has increased significantly over recent years.
  • In 2018, the proportions of pupils leaving both key stages 1 and 2 who achieved the higher standards in mathematics were above the national averages.
  • Inspection evidence and information provided by the school indicates that the majority of current disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND are making strong progress. This is particularly the case in writing.

 

Our key points for development are:

  • Continue to provide an exciting and engaging curriculum for our children and to monitor the impact it has on their learning.
  • To ensure consistency in the quality of teaching of reading and phonics.
  • To ensure that all of our children are challenged in their learning.
  • To ensure our teachers continue to work effectively with their Teaching Assistants, to support individual pupil needs.
  • To ensure all staff consistently follow the school’s behaviour policy.
  • To ensure that presentation of pupils’ work is consistently high.

 

Click here to see our latest report.  

Click here to view our school on Ofsted’s Parent View.    

St Gregory's Catholic Primary School: Grange Road, Northampton, NN3 2AX

Telephone: 01604 403511Fax: 01604 403606

office@sgcps.org

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Academies Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales under company registration number 09980467 and with registered address The Trust Office, Thomas Becket Catholic School, Becket Way, Kettering Road North, Northampton, England, NN3 6HT. St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School is a business name of St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Academies Trust.